Friday, 10 January 2014

Renew the Menu: Kale and Bacon brown rice risotto

Here we go with Renew the Menu dinner #2: Kale and Bacon Brown rice risotto. I will confess I did attempt this once before but it didn't turn out too well (there was lots of swearing involved!) so I decided to take a deep breath and try it again. Result = Winner.
Although it is seriously easy it does take a while to cook the brown rice so make sure you leave enough time before dinner to make it. Whilst I am in confession mode I will also tell you that the kids didn’t eat it (they ate leftovers, another one of my new year’s ‘To Do’ list goals is to waste less food) and it’s probably a good thing they didn’t- husband and I ate the whole lot ourselves!
Kale, bacon, brown rice, parmesan and pine nuts, what’s not to like?! The brown rice gives a great nutty texture, the pine nuts provide crunch and the saltiness of the bacon and parmesan give great flavour. The kale makes you feel healthy just eating it and I swear you can feel your iron levels rising with each mouthful!

Double the recipe if you are feeding four hungry persons as I think this recipe is really only enough for two decent helpings.

Kale and Bacon Brown rice risotto

1 cup brown rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp butter
½ cup parmesan, grated
120g bacon or pancetta would also work well
½ bunch kale
2 tbsp pine nuts


1. Bring stock to boil in large saucepan
2. Once boiling add butter and reduce heat to simmer
3. Add rice and stir
4. Leave rice to simmer for 45-55 mins stirring occasionally (you may need to add more stock or hot water)
5. Wash kale and tear off leaves from main stem
6. Slice bacon into small pieces
7. When rice has been cooking for approx. 40 mins fry bacon in small frypan

8. Add kale torn into small pieces to microwaveable container with vented lid and add ½ cup water, steam in microwave for approx. 6 mins
9. Once rice is cooked but still slightly al dente, remove from heat and stir in parmesan

10. Add drained kale and bacon to rice and stir.
11. Toast pine nuts in small frypan
12. Spoon risotto into awaiting bowls and top with toasted pine nuts

 What is your favourite way to use kale?

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